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How to Attract The Right Traffic Using SEO User Intent

White Shark Media

8 years ago



There is an intention behind everything we do, in this case, our search queries.

Each time someone uses a search engine, they have a different goal in mind.

Google’s ultimate goal is to satisfy the users’ needs. However, understanding user intent is half the battle. As marketers, it’s our job to discover just what potential customers are searching for, and how to target them.

For this blog post, we will be defining the different user intentions and how to reach your target audience based on them.

The User Intent in Search

The user intent approach involves getting into your target audiences’ minds to define their needs, create content, and deliver solutions that satisfy those needs. In the end, these efforts will increase your website metrics and conversion rates.

The concept of user intent goes beyond the keywords or terms used in a search and focuses more on the reason behind the use of that term. For example, the search term “apple” may have two different meanings by just changing the intent. It could be either related to fruit or the iPhone manufacturer.

Types Of Intent

Every second we make over 40,000 searches on Google, so it’s no surprise that not all intents are the same. Luckily enough, one thing all search intents have in common is they are in some stage of the buying process and can be categorized.

In one of his well-known Whiteboard Fridays, Rand Fishkin segmented 4 different types of searches based on user intent. Getting to know each one of these and how to solve them will help you effectively connect with your desired audience.

1) Navigational Intent

Searchers with this intent need to reach a specific site they don’t know the specific URL for and will mostly use branded terms to get there. From an SEO perspective, this intent has a low value unless we are related to the brand. Because let’s face it, these results are kind of biased.

2) Informational Intent

Informational searches are not done to perform an action online but to research information. These types of queries have a high search volume and are mostly done in the form of questions.

In the SEO world, informational search helps you acquire new visitors and increase your exposure online, but these users won’t boost your conversion rates because their intent is not to buy… yet!

3) Commercial Investigation Intent

Somewhat related to informational search, this type of query has a commercial incline since the user’s intent is to explore different options to make a future transaction. Commercial intent searches have a high value due to their significant potential for conversion. Optimizing for these is a must.

4) Transactional Intent

Searchers with this intent are looking to complete an action directly. Usually, these users have a clear idea of what they are looking for which translates into long-tail keyword terms. Despite their low search volume, transactional searches have a high conversion rate. Going after this intent is essential!


How Do I Attract The Right Buyers?

In a perfect world, all searches would have a transactional intent and we would worry only about one intent. However, in the real world, isolating transaction-driven search would limit traffic levels and online exposure as we would miss out on the rest of internet users. The best approach is to solve each type of intent with the right type of content.

For searchers with navigational intent

These visitors are trying to find something from your site or company, you have to make sure that whatever they are looking for is accessible to them.

For example, the White Shark Media Blog has a crawlable and indexable URL, as well as a link in the company’s home page.

For searchers with informational intent

Our goal is to answer the initial question of the user and then push an action-oriented intent to them.

When their initial query is solved, users are left on a site with nothing else to do and there is where the call to actions come into play. Think of the last time you subscribed to a newsletter after reading a blog post. Do you remember how that happened? Maybe you saw one of these:

Call to Actions direct users to action after their initial intent is solved. This way you will increase the chances of getting a conversion from an information-driven user.

For searchers with commercial investigation or transactional intent

Searchers falling in this category need something to back up the action they want to accomplish before jumping into it.

To achieve this, your page content must highlight your business’ unique selling points to gain the interest of the user and reinforce it by sharing your success stories or client testimonials.

Finally, place and highlight call to actions to influence visitors to complete the action your page allows them to do.

In other words, learning how to create an optimized landing page will help you approach this intent better. Read more about SEO landing page optimization in this post:

It’s Not About The Keywords But Their Meaning

While keyword research is still vital to the creation of a successful strategy, knowing the intent and the meaning behind those keywords is what will set that strategy apart from the rest. Because in the end, it’s real people who perform searches, browse the internet, land on your site, and do business with you.

How do you attract the right buyers to your business? Share your ideas with us.